I looked up my credit score info, and apparently it’s bad because of a $30 charge at Kohl’s five or six years ago. I’m fairly sure I just received the card in the mail and tossed it, so I suspect someone found it and used it, but it doesn’t really matter. I would just like to pay the debt and start building up my credit. But since the account is closed, how do I pay it off?
Generation Progress (formerly Campus Progress) is putting together state-by-state factsheets about the student debt crisis. They’ve done six states so far, including California, where I went as an undergrad. State and local funding dropped by 25.4 percent in the U.C. system in the last decade, and in-state tuition has now skyrocketed by 114 percent, according to data from the College Board.
The Academe Blog has a servicey post about how to use the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Act, which forgives federal direct loans for those who work full-time (at least 30 hours a week) in federal, state, or local government agencies or tax-exempt non-profit organizations after making 120 monthly on-time payments on your loans. You can read more generally about it at the Federal Student Aid site.
Via our pal Matt Levine, Bloomberg has an interview with Thomas Anderson, the author of a new book out called The Value of Debt. During the financial crisis, many households were overleveraged, which later resulted in a focus on de-leveraging and becoming debt-adverse (we got better at paying down our credit cards, for example, though that kind revolving debt is beginning to rise again). As you can see from his response above, Anderson argues that being too debt-averse is a mistake. He argues that it’s all about balance—pay off that high-interest, non tax-deductible debt first, but also hold onto some of your money in case you need it. Do what you need to do to remain secure, essentially.
Financial Planning Day is hosted by the Financial Planning Association, which offers the free one-on-one sessions and workshops. The financial planners involved are volunteers who will not sell products or hand out business cards, and the sessions and workshops are hosted all across the U.S. during the months of October and November (see the list of days here).